Thursday, 9 July 2020

belau rekid

Though human settlement on the group of islands extends back millennia, Palau (see previously) is a young republic, observing annually its founding on this day since 1981 with Constitution Day, the referendum voting for independence for this former US territory after most Pacific islands fell under the administration of America as Trust Territories, having previously been a Spanish colony governed from the Philippines, administered as German New Guinea, then becoming part of the Japanese-ruled League of Nations’ South Seas Mandate, choosing not to join Micronesia, an association compromised of recently decolonised neighbours. Modelled in part of the US constitution, Palau’s uniquely prohibits all atomic applications, be it for warfare as a testing-site or for energy-generation as a dumping-ground for nuclear waste—as well as specifically banning biological and chemical weapons.

Wednesday, 8 July 2020

kilian and his companions colmán and totnan

Martyred on this day according to tradition along with two of his associates for reproaching the Count, Hedan II of Thüringen, that his marriage to his brother’s widow was against Church doctrine and therefore would not be considered legitimate—angering the bride-to-be Geliana to the point where, in Hedan’s absence, she summoned this meddlesome priest, called
Apostle to the Franconians having sojourned from his native Ireland, and company to the market square of the city of Würzburg (see previously here, here, here and here) in 689. Three years prior, Kilian travelled from County Kerry to Rome to receive missionary instructions from Pope Conon, who dispatched his troupe to East Francia to convert Duke Gozbert and his subjects, whom still practised pagan rituals.

Tuesday, 7 July 2020

the art of the title

Having a good deal of other credits to his name, film title designer Maurice Binder (*1918 – †1991) is best known for his signature, iconic opening sequences for sixteen films in the James Bond franchise (see also), beginning with Doctor No in 1962 where the gun barrel perspective and silhouette montages first appeared. Below is the introduction of the 1977 The Spy Who Loved Me—probably Binder’s finest and most imitated vignettes, featuring Carly Simon performing the power ballad “Nobody Does It Better,” which premiered in London on this day.

Monday, 6 July 2020

time out of mind

Though the phrase time immemorial may sound beyond the reach of history or record, it is a phrase coined (temps immémorial) to satisfy the legal burden of proof of ownership—for both moveable and immovable property, with the First Statute of Westminster, which codified English law in 1275—including other pithy prescriptions like “No Maintainers of Quarrels shall be suffered,” that decreed that time immemorial extended back to the beginning of the reign of Richard I (see previously here and here), ascending to the throne on 6 July 1189, very much as it was a matter of record and in living memory. Lands enjoyed in an unbroken chain of custody since then required no further proof of ownership. Noting that the full expression was conditional, “time immemorial, or time whereof the memory of man runneth not to the contrary,” common law was amended in 1832 to be sixty years.

Sunday, 5 July 2020


télévision œil de demain: a prescient 1947 short about the future ubiquity of screens

zeus mode: alternative phone casings featuring accessories including a built-in stun gun

harvey wall-banger adjacent: click on grid mode to see how these cocktail ingredients compare—via Nag on the Lake’s always excellent Sunday Links

corona cosplay: understanding Americans’ aversion to wearing masks—via Duck Soup

we’ll celebrate once we have a reason to celebrate: revisiting (see also) Fredrick Douglass’ 5 July 1852 speech

ipertesto: Agostino Ramelli’s sixteenth century bookwheels recreated by modern designers

eagle-eye cherry

Though not always able to vouch for the headliners and the juxtaposition of the competing stages would make it sometimes a tough choice, we are very much enjoying this 90s fantasy music festival generator (see also)—via Things Magazine—these posters containing clickable elements that let one sample the acts and imagine them in back-to-back sets. These are random pairings but what bands that you had not thought about in some time from that decade would you enlist for your summer venue?

voyage, voyage

As an evangelist of the temperance movement, on this day in 1841—capitalising upon the extension of the Midland Counties Railway, Thomas Cook (previously) organised the excursion to bring a group of anti-drink campaigners from Leicester (presently under restriction of movement) to a teetotaller demonstration in Loughborough, some eleven miles distant with Cook himself acting as steward and chaperone to some five hundred individuals willing to pay a premium to have the arrangements sorted out. Some four years later, he took parties on journeys to Liverpool and Scotland—this time not busing-in out-of-state agitators, finally cementing his reputation soon after as a tour agent with one-hundred and fifty thousand journeying to the 1851 Great Exhibition in London followed by a continental grand tour of Belgium, German and culminating in the 1855 Parisian Great Exhibition.

Saturday, 4 July 2020


My auto-correct function believes the superlative adjectival form of free is the double rather than triple e version favoured it seems by others, and while I would probably avoid either and employ more and most free—say nothing of wee or twee—there are probably instances where it would be useful (I use soonest in the right context often enough, my phone suggests it), it does seem somehow orthographically lacking somehow, as if one had not arrived at free‧er or free‧est and was instead conveying some archaic verbal form. What do you think? With all this talk of e’s, it’s interesting to draw in the suffixes –or as the actor and the object –ee as the receivee, expanded from the legal nomenclature of donor and donee in mentor and mentee and all its permutations, or denoting the empathised champion of the transitive action, as in trainee, abductee, insuree or purgee.